The Bigger Picture by Manya Khemka

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Outside our dark and dusty IPhone screen,

Lingers a whole new world yet to be seen.

Even so it will soon cease to exist,

Suddenly disappearing in the cold featureless mist.

“Smile for the camera!”

We paste our distressed plastic smiles on the perfect white background,

Pretending as if we have never ever frowned.

Whereas in photos it is paramount to laugh,

How can we forget to tag the best friend who clicked it on our behalf?

We make society believe;

We always smile! We are perfect!

From those 15 k followers on Facebook and snapchat,

With how many do we actually talk and chat?

All those who we classify and regard as childish and imprudent,

Are even though silent yet patient and savant.

We make society notice;

We are choosy! We are perfect!

One post, one text, one like can alter or change a life,

How do you know that the next day someone won’t be crying over a ‘negligible’ strife?

This is not as simple as ‘normal’ high school drama,

And it is not right to just label it as karma.

We make society perceive;

We are effortless! We are perfect!

In high school, everyone wants to be in the ‘popular group’ ,

Around whom all the ‘boring uncool people’ hide and snoop.

If they really wish to blend,

Wearing expensive branded clothes and clicking selfies is the new trend.

We make society comprehend;

We are rich! We are perfect!

To some it is just like an amusing game,

Many don’t like to discuss it because of shame.

What we refuse to conceive is that every human needs someone to trust,

Not turn their soul into dust.

We make society recognise;

We don’t care! We are perfect!

We capture and post memories of us elated and overjoyed,

However what about when we are distressed or annoyed?

We obscure whatever makes us not look ‘perfect’,

What does this depict?

We make society apprehend;

We only have good times! We are perfect!

It is our ego which is our greatest downfall,

We consciously ignore that attention is what we always ask for.

You know what doesn’t exist in this world anymore? Privacy.

And cannot fight it no matter how bold or tenacious we be.

We make society cognise;

We can subdue our guilt! We are perfect!

We wake up everyday ,

Thinking about who we spoke to and what we did yesterday.

Yet the stark reality is that we ‘need’ to be liked, told we are pretty

So that life isn’t too lonely in a city.

The truth being we are not perfect!

We don’t love our life!

We love the idea of being perfect!

The idea of being loved by society!

Have you experienced the fear of missing out on things? The feeling of comparing yourself to others? Of needing attention and approval from others regarding what you are and how you act?

The absolute and bitter reality is that the so-called “perfection” of others is just an illusion. The elated vacations, the thrilling professional achievements, the content families that we see on our Instagram and Facebook pages are just a silver lining of their real lives. They are just the sanitised, flattering and praiseworthy version of the real, raw experiences everyone goes through. This is true on the grounds that you can be anything, but you can’t be everything.

To actually know who we are at our core, we need to slowly strip off these different layers of labels like an onion peel. If we make it our objective to fight past and question these labels we accept for ourselves, we may amaze ourselves of what we become in the future.

Beauty starts in your head not in your mirror. Even still, we like being called pretty or attractive. Why? Instead of worrying and being pessimistic about the idea of people loving you, love yourself. Don’t fall into the rabbit hole of other people’s carefully curated presentations of their lives and compare those to your own. We see ourselves in the stories of others even when we can free ourselves by writing the story of own lives.

Nonetheless, the most important relationship we form in our entire life is the one with our own selves. Life is like a Snapchat filter. We tend to lose control of the filters that we embrace for ourselves, to determine how we want the world to see us.

The job of a camera is to capture memories, not replace them all.

However how many selfies of yourself have you ever clicked which you never posted because you were afraid people will think you are ‘appalling’ and ‘mock’ you?

We hide past our cameras and limit ourselves to our own or other people’s expectations of who we are. We soon get addicted to the micro-gratification of the the world which is now like a playground for our insecurities. We choose to be effortless at all times and mask that part of ourselves which we aren’t proud of or which we think society would ‘judge’ us for.

Instead every individual should be proud of what they have acquired, their nationality, their appearance and every single thing that matters to them.

It is said that we should just pursue the guidelines and rules that exist in the world. I say that make your own. Some just blame ‘society’ for the rules and restrictions it shaped but it is crucial for them to recognise that they are also part of that same society. You, one single person can make a difference. As E.M. Forster once said, “One person with passion is better than forty people merely interested.”

On the other hand, when things get difficult for us, we often naturally paint ourselves as victims of life. But we are not victims of life. We are life. Our complications and difficulties may not be our fault, but they are our responsibility.

You may be tall or short , desolate or troublesome, thin or fat, but no one deserves to cry to bed every night. Hoping to be like someone else. Don’t let the expectations and opinions of others affect what you stand for. Because it’s your life, not theirs. If you let others control your life, you are living their reality not yours.

No matter what, you will still be you: beautiful even though bruised, clumsy nevertheless graceful.

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